Free Range Equipment | Local News | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
The Source Weekly’s reporting is made possible by the power of your support. Be a part of it!
Search
Settings
Pin It
Favorite

Free Range Equipment 

Durable backpacks with an artistic touch, made in a Bend garage

SUBMITTED
  • Submitted

While attending Montana State University, Tosch Roy had a ski mountaineering race coming up and didn't have a backpack for it. He had done some sewing before, so figured he'd give making a backpack a shot.

"It was crappy, but gave me hope," Roy says. "A bunch of friends wanted one. It's more of a hobby turned business. There are a lot of packs out there, generally purposed, made in Asia, lots of bells and whistles that break. I was frustrated with the options. I wanted something clean, durable, that lasts a long time, good for specific activities. I just wanted to have one pack that's really good at what it does, so I moved into this unfulfilled niche."

For the first five years, sale of the packs by Roy's company, Free Range Equipment, trickled along. Recently, Roy started working with local artists to design the new canvas packs sold by Free Range Equipment.

"It's definitely been a game changer," Roy says. "Working with all of these artists to promote it has helped, as well. Getting to know the artists, it feels like more of a community project now."

All of the packs are made in Bend, in a shop in Roy's father's garage. A friend of Roy's does all the production sewing, while he still does the pack design, the prototyping and everything else.

"I don't really know if I could have done it in another town. It helps growing up here. There's that aspect of it, the community. It's also a good town to start an outdoor product company. The biggest take away is how big the support network is, for both a startup in general and an outdoor startup."

freerangeequipment.com


About The Author

Anne Pick

Music Writer | The Source Weekly
Pin It
Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

Today | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon
ConnectW Monthly Meeting

ConnectW Monthly Meeting

Wed., Jan. 19, 7-8 p.m.
Submitting an event is free and easy.

Newsletter Signup

Get Central Oregon daily news
directly in your inbox

Get Social

Latest in Local News

  • Health & Fitness 2022

    • Jan 13, 2022
    From pole dancing to cross country skiing, have fun and get out of your comfort zone with our Health and Fitness issue! More »
  • Hearing from Survivors

    • Jan 13, 2022
    A locally produced book highlights the experience of those who have had a stroke, and what they've learned More »
  • The Omicron Wave

    • Jan 12, 2022
    Oregon reported its highest COVID case numbers of the pandemic, though hospitalizations and deaths lag behind the Delta surge More »
  • More »

More by Anne Pick

  • Hip-Hop Subscription

    Hip-Hop Subscription

    Zion I delves into Patreon
    • Nov 28, 2018
  • Move Over, Mariah

    Move Over, Mariah

    Gypsy-punk rockers Diego's Umbrella shows off a softer side on "The Christmas Revels"
    • Nov 28, 2018
  • There's Still Hope

    There's Still Hope

    Ashleigh Flynn & The Riveters draw inspiration from an American icon
    • Nov 21, 2018
  • More »

Want to advertise with us?

For info on print and digital advertising, >> Click Here

© 2022 LAY IT OUT INC | 704 NW GEORGIA AVE, BEND, OREGON 97703  |   Privacy Policy

Website powered by Foundation